Sunday, January 30, 2011

Now I'm really confused

<$BlogMetaData$>Now I’m Really Confused

I had originally written my article for this week offering choices between ‘cap and trade’ or no cap and trade. I found out that ‘cap and trade’ was dead on arrival. I wasn’t even invited to the funeral. The EPA would have been the traffic cop for ‘cap and trade.’ The EPA is the only thing keeping us between a rock and a hard place.

As many of you know, after the election in November, Governor Daugaard said that anyone against Hyperion was an environmental extremist. The new governor had dashed my vision of what the Republican Party stood for and to avoid further embarrassment, switched to being an Independent. I’m still a Republican at heart, and will let it go at that. I don’t want this column to become a sounding board for my political beliefs. Ergo; the rest of this article.

One of the leading candidates for the Republican nomination for President is Newt (Grinch) Ginrich from Georgia. He came out with a statement the other day that is leaving really me quite bewildered. He is proposing that we do away with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and replace it with an agency called the ESA (Environmental Solutions Agency). Isn’t this what bureaucrats do after every election? He claims that the EPA has become so bogged down with litigations and enforcing the laws that were designed to protect the environment that they have lost sight of their objective. DUH! That is what the agency was formed to do. If they don’t do it, who will? We need something on a national level to enforce the decisions made by congress. If we leave it up to the individual states we will have 50 different laws for the same thing. He said that the EPA has become the bureaucracy of choice for Presidents and ideologues to exert more control over the decision making of the private sector and local and state governments, stifling the very innovation and entrepreneurship that is necessary to achieve a cleaner environment.

Such an agency would create a stronger economy with more American jobs and more American energy, all while protecting human health and the environment. And at a time when Americans are demanding smaller government, the time to replace the EPA with a leaner, more efficient agency has never been better. It has been my experience with Washington that change does nothing more than increase the size of government..

My question is where does this leave us? Do we settle for an agency that makes decisions based on whichever way the wind blows or do we strive to provide support for an institution that will actually do something good for everyone including the environment. The EPA cannot be an effective agency if they change their decisions every time some new politician comes into power. I think the Grinch is basing his decision on information that is not only unfounded but inaccurate.

Here is what his solution to the problem is: The EPA should be replaced with the Environmental Solutions Agency, which would incorporate the necessary statutory responsibilities of the old EPA while eliminating the job-killing regulatory abuses and power grabs of the old EPA. This would be achieved by bringing together science, technology, entrepreneurs, incentives, and local creativity to create a cleaner environment through smarter regulation. I thought this is what we have now. Everyone has opinions, but a rush to judgment is not the answer. Before we had the EPA we had nothing. The “Clean Air Act of 1970” created the EPA and set the standards for clean energy, but was mainly aimed at the automobile. Now we have standards that industry must meet or the EPA will shut them down. It took 40 years for the EPA to reach the point they are at now.

For every example the Grinch gives to do away with the EPA, I’m sure we can show cause that they should be left alone. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I may be selfish here, but we need the EPA, If for no other reason that it is keeping Hyperion out of here. (There, I finally got to the crux of this article.) The state of South Dakota DENR is flaunting its power by stating that Hyperion doesn’t need an environmental impact statement to do business in this state. The EPA says that it is imperative that they prove they can operate without doing harm to the environment and that includes the human factor. Without a regulatory agency to run roughshod over wannabe’s like Hyperion things would be totally out of control. If you don’t have standards, you have nothing. There are 145 refineries in the United States; some have been operating for over 75 years. Can you imagine the chaos if they all operated at the whim of whoever happened to be President at the time?

I would like to quote James Heisinger on his thoughts for the EPA. “We must support the EPA; they arrived like a gift from God, just in time to stall an incredible and deserving flood of industrial carcinogens and environmental destruction, a gift from corporate America. Unless we at least support the EPA, and place some trust in science the good life on this good earth will continue the present remarkably rapid change. We will have cast ourselves out of the figurative Garden of Eden.”



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